Total has delivered its first shipment of carbon-neutral liquefied natural gas to China National Offshore Petroleum Corporation (CNOOC), loaded out from the Icthys liquefaction plant in Australia.


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Received on 29 September at China’s Dapeng terminal, the delivery “represents a new step [for Total] as we seek to support our customers towards carbon neutrality”, said Total’s president for gas, Laurent Vivier.

“The development of LNG is essential to meet growth in global demand for energy while reducing the carbon intensity of energy products consumed,” he said.

The LNG shipment was offset with verified carbon standards emissions certificates financing the Hebei Guyuan Wind Power Project in northern China — which is designed to reduce coal-based power generation emissions — and the Kriba REDD Project — which is a scheme designed to safeguard forests in the landlocked African state of Zimbabwe.

Total has come under fire in recent months from activists opposing the French supermajor's engagement in multi-billion-dollar fossil fuel projects across Africa — one to bring heavy oil onstream from Uganda and the other to develop 30 trillion cubic feet of gas off Mozambique.

Wood Mackenzie principal analyst Lucy Cullen on Tuesday said: “Full carbon-neutrality from wellhead to consumption is an ambitious goal for the entire LNG industry, but targeted reductions in upstream and liquefaction processes can still achieve sizable reductions. And this aligns well with greater pressure from corporate carbon targets.

“Whether emissions are controlled in the value chain or as part of the sale through offsets, all carbon reductions come at a cost. And ultimately this will result in greater differentiation between projects by buyers and investors — with green LNG either sold at a premium or ‘dirtier’ LNG being penalised.

“But if ‘green’ LNG is to become more mainstream, transparency and standardisation of emission measurements which does not exist today will be key.

"Now is the time for industry to work together to address this challenge.”